I have been pitching restaurants in earnest for two years, and have had moderate success, landing three new restaurant gigs last year, for example. However, for various reasons not of my own making, I lost two of the three last year.
In January, I seem to have gotten "into the zone," landing one audition or an appointment every day that I pitch (which is once or twice a week at this point, 2 or 3 hours at a time).
I'll tell you my secret. It's all sales advice, of course.
When I really started playing the numbers, that made a big difference. Just calling great numbers of restaurants and not expecting them to say yes, but pitching well, nonetheless. Getting comfortable with my script (which I developed from Charles Greene's audiotape on restaurant pitching). Talking directly to the general managers, and keeping a detailed running file on each restaurant.
And whenever I get a firm no, I simply wait until the general manager leaves or gets fired, which is invariably within months (it's a tough business and wears you out), and then pitch the new general manager. The new general managers are much more likely to want to try out new entertainment.
My goal is to be working 8 restaurants a week, like the champion Malone used to.